I promise I will change the title to "Working Parent" as soon as the first dad / gentleman comments that he does laundry (in a friendly comment) on the site.
Laundry never goes away. Unless everyone walks around naked for the day. And nobody wants to see that. As long as we are wearing clean clothes, laundry will always be there.
As we have helped hundreds of families with in home laundry, here are a few things we've learned when it come to managing laundry / clothes organization for a family.
If your laundry room looks like this, feel free to hop off.
So I started with lowering my expectations. No need for perfection.
1. Get Your Kids Involved. Yesterday.
I know this sounds cliche (and possibly more added nagging). This will not only benefit you, but give your kids responsibilities. Trust me. There are A LOT of kids who are going off to college not having the slightest clue how to clean their clothes.
If they are 4-5, they can bring the baskets to the laundry room, transfer, and help match socks. At 6-7 they can make an attempt to fold and definitely help put the clothes away. Make it a fun race. Kids ages 8-12, they can definitely fold their own clothes and put them away. At 13+, kids can definitely be taught how to do laundry. Heck, the machines practically run themselves if you can read.
I also know many of you may be doing laundry in the wee hours. Setting a specific time on the weekend involving your kids will give you an evening or 2 back.
2. Sorting is overrated.
Sort by person and wash everything on cold.
Per Real Simple: “Technological advances, in both machines and detergents (not just the cold-specific kind), have made cold-water washing a highly effective option,” says Colorado-based clothing-care expert Steve Boorstein. Sometimes it’s safer than using hot water. Since about 90 percent of the energy consumed while running a load is used to heat the water, the average household opting for cold can eliminate as much as 350 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Do a good deed for the planet and your clothes by starting to wash in cold.
3. Put a TOO SMALL bin in each closet. Even in your own.
We see kids put on clothes that are too small, have no idea what to do with them, so they throw them in the laundry. Or back in the drawer. Again. And again. And again.
The goal is to get clothes that do not fit or you haven't worn in a year out of the cycle. Donate and/or consign.
If you are saving clothes to fit into them later, they are likely to be out of style in 6 months. Donate and/or consign.
4. Teach your kids to turn their clothes right side out.
Before they throw them in the dirty clothes basket. The "dirty side" of the clothes will get clean and you won't have to turn every single article of clothing right side out. It does seem like every single piece of clothing is inside out.
Give rewards to those have the most right side out clothes on laundry day. Yes. Seriously.
5. If you have itty bitties, make sure they can reach their own clothes.
Whether it's hanging in a closet or in a drawer, if they can't reach it, they will need your help. If they can reach them, they may not need your help. 'Nuff said.
6. If your child wants to wear mismatch, let them.
Social pressures will correct it in time. Let them be free for now.
7. Hang as much as possible.
This definitely keeps things a little tidier and prevents rummaging through drawers. Also, things are less wrinkled.
Start with shirts. Hang by sleeve length. It helps when "directing" what to wear according to the weather. It may be a long sleeve day or a short sleeve day.
Roll pants in drawers and fold pj parts together. I'll try to upload a picture or video for further explanation.
Feel free to comment on these tips or list your own!